September 18, 2002
4:45 PM   Subscribe

I will not forget the liberal media who abused freedom of the press to kick our country when it was vulnerable and hurting. This is just one of the lines of text in a recent email forwarding. The piece is attributed to one Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC (Ret.). Google turns up page after page of the exact same text. It's being plastered all over the internet, repeated hundreds of times by hundreds of people. By what means does something like this become so ubiquitous? If a person wanted to create this sort of buzz, how would they do it? How do you combat such a tidal wave of jingoistic hooey?
posted by pejamo (49 comments total)
 
You ignore it. I call this "war glurge."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:50 PM on September 18, 2002


The first link Google handed me back was for Grif.net whose actual motto is "Putting the fun back in fundamentalism!"
posted by destro at 4:52 PM on September 18, 2002


What's wrong with it?
posted by techgnollogic at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2002


135 google hits is not "plastered all over the internet" (but you've certaintly helped it on it's way by posting here).
posted by andrew cooke at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2002


God, I hope Professor Grif doesn't ever find out about Grif.net. Hell to pay.

It doesn't seem like this Evans email is purposefully being wheatpasted: people like it! Almost-blogs like Sgt. Paulie speaks out and the Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc post any stirring pro-America crap that come in their inbox.

The funny thing is, this piece is a very odd mishmash. I bet most people who post it don't even agree with all of it.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2002


Destro- thank you. I'm still giggling.

andrew cooke- I don't know about you, but I've never had anything copied and re-posted on over a hundred websites. What I am more interested in is the mechanism by which this occurs. Is it Ed's writing? Is he plugged into a sub-culture that disseminates information efficiently? Can this process be replicated? Can I do it?
posted by pejamo at 5:05 PM on September 18, 2002


"By what means does something like this become so ubiquitous?"

AOL.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:06 PM on September 18, 2002


Why does a Marine's opinion hold so much weight with the public? The Marine meme is just something America obsessed with. Whatever your politics there's a Marine or ex-Marine with some kind of open letter supporting you.

text. It's being plastered all over the internet, repeated hundreds of times by hundreds of people.

Now that its here we can probably change that hundreds to thousands. Marines in the information age! I smell a sci-fi novel brewing.
posted by skallas at 5:12 PM on September 18, 2002


I hope that Ed Evans someday realizes that the U.S. Constitution that allows the "liberal media" to "abuse" their freedom of the press is the same Constitution that allows him to disemminate his distorted views all over the Internet. Now THAT'S freedom of speech.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2002


... though the Grammar Police may get me for my misspelling of "disseminate."
posted by TBoneMcCool at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2002


I will not pretend to understand.

Good, don't hurt yourself.

Even assuming it's real (50/50 chance in my opinion), who gives a flying fuck what this guy thinks? Marines are not known for their perspicacious grasp of world affairs. He supports the Republican party line and hates liberals? What a revelation!
posted by Hildago at 5:39 PM on September 18, 2002


Man, a marine who promises not to forget anything? Would have made a great chief-of-staff under Reagan.
posted by gsteff at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2002


I sat in a movie theater, watching "Pearl Harbor and asked myself, "Why weren't we prepared?"

That's funny. I sat in the theater and asked myself, "Why did they made this piece of crap?"
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:01 PM on September 18, 2002


Typical extreme left/right wing "everything is black and white" comments. All liberals smoke pot, all media is liberal, all republicans are greedy rich people etc...I like my coffee gray thank you. Hurts their little minds to think that the world is not as simple as that.
posted by jeblis at 6:13 PM on September 18, 2002


That's funny. I sat in the theater and asked myself, "Why did they made this piece of crap?"

Amen.
posted by Bearman at 6:17 PM on September 18, 2002


Living without liberty is not living.

Right! Exactly what the liberal media has been trying to say. Let's all hug.
posted by jragon at 6:20 PM on September 18, 2002


How is it that he comes to write in the choppy, transition-less style of a modern-day hack pundit? It's either a total fake, or one Marine needs to stop reading cheeseball newpaper columns.
posted by raysmj at 6:24 PM on September 18, 2002


I'm putting it all over my site, (if I ever get around to making one)

And besides NO-BODY was prepared enough for "Pearl Harbor the Movie"
posted by Elim at 6:26 PM on September 18, 2002


I like my coffee gray thank you

Ew. What do you add to get it that color? I prefer a light brown, myself.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:45 PM on September 18, 2002


Grey food coloring? Concrete mix? Rat hair?
posted by raysmj at 6:53 PM on September 18, 2002


I personally like the phrase "abused freedom of the press to kick our country" in the statement. One of the only things that makes our country work is that ALL sides are allowed to speak their minds, that's the ONLY way a true balance can be found. We need people calling for peace just as much as we need people calling for war - the struggle between these two viewpoint will provide us with a far better solution than either one by itself.

All I'd like to tell this idiot is that if you're going to stand up for our Constitutional rights, stand up for all of them as written or don't bother. Once you start debating the meaning beyond the face value you might as well scrap the whole document.
posted by RevGreg at 7:05 PM on September 18, 2002


what a non-starter. that brief tirade is riddled with inconsistencies, factual inaccuracies and poor deduction. in other words it's dumb and badly written. i hardly think it's lighting up the email circuits. it doesn't even make sense.
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:07 PM on September 18, 2002


The text seems very strange on a few levels. I can see why some of us seem to suspect it may be an orchestrated piece of PR, although I find RJReynolds' take on that possibility to be pretty convincing.

There is no date on the text, and no suggestion of provenance. Is this true in all of the copies? I'd be willing to make a random sample test if someone would suggest a freeware collating program I could use. That would leave us surer of our suppositions.
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 7:16 PM on September 18, 2002


Excrement. God help the Marines if this is typical of the sort of men they're working with.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:43 PM on September 18, 2002


I will force myself to:
-hear the weeping
-feel the helplessness
-imagine the terror
-sense the panic
-smell the burning flesh
-experience the loss
-remember the hatred.


that's terrorism porn. eew.

Even assuming it's real (50/50 chance in my opinion)

I don't understand, what are you questioning?
posted by captain obvious at 7:50 PM on September 18, 2002


They say we must focus on the bravery of the rescuers and ignore the cowardice of the killers

I wish people would stop refering to terrorists as cowards. Cowards run away from fights to save their lives, they don't fly themselves into buildings to make a point. I suppose it's good -- or at least human nature -- to belittle the enemy to boost morale, but we can take it too far. I sure hope our policymakers don't take this view too much to heart. We should never underestimate our opponents.

I will not forget that CBS anchor Dan Rather preceded President Bush's address to the nation with the snide remark

I wonder if he would have forgotten it if Dan Rather had made a snide remark about President Clinton, like oh, say, Rush Limbaugh? Oh, and speaking of our last president:

I will not forget the Clinton administration equipped Islamic terrorists and their supporters with the world's most sophisticated telecommunications equipment and encryption technology

And yet he forgets that during a large part of the 1980s the GOP-controlled Senate and Executive branch gave those kooky Mujahideen (some of whom are today's terrorists) some $2 billion in arms and military training. Whoops!

Yes, I know all of my points have been made before, but we've heard all of his too. And so it goes.
posted by moonbiter at 8:16 PM on September 18, 2002


Front Page Mag published this on 11 Sept 2002 . The Alaska Republican Party circulated it on 23 July 2002. The BenJones Almanac (which asserts that
Rights and liberties are earned by embracing, supporting and adhering to the ... Declaration of Independence ... Constitution ... Bill of Rights ... Amendments ... Pledge of Allegiance ... National Anthem)
published it on the 15th of May. A paragraph on this page is written by an Ed Evans, USMC of Nashville, Tenn. And this newsletter (pdf) dated November 2001 carries an editorial by Evans similar to the e-mail. So Mr. Evans is a real person, apparently. Who knows where the e-mail started (recipient zero!) but add a network of conservative sites and blogs and you've propagated the meme quicker than you can say "Brad the Cad".

I will force myself to: ... -remember the hatred.

"Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!"
posted by octobersurprise at 8:18 PM on September 18, 2002 [1 favorite]


The truth on cowardice: "We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

Now if only the one who said it had been allowed his freedom of speech.
posted by ramakrishna at 8:20 PM on September 18, 2002


I will not forget the moral victory handed the North Vietnamese by American war protesters who reviled and spat upon the returning soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.

Just for the record.
posted by y2karl at 9:29 PM on September 18, 2002


He's right, though.
posted by hama7 at 9:31 PM on September 18, 2002


er. I mean...

I will not forget the moral victory handed the North Vietnamese by American war protesters who reviled and spat upon the returning soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.

Just for the record.
posted by y2karl at 9:31 PM on September 18, 2002


is anyone else getting a little nervous about this war-on-liberals the neocons are waging?
posted by mcsweetie at 9:36 PM on September 18, 2002


I'm with XQ -- war glurge. Shrug. See Snopes for other examples. {music warning}

Interestingly, I found several alternate versions with no name attached (not surprising) and others with the name of Tamara Hall, the "Montana Motivator" attached. It doesn't seem in tune with her mediation-oriented speeches, though, nor her columns, which were written with long, structured paragraphs. Still, it does jibe with the earliest cite I've found, from Gooja, 7 Nov 2001. The earliest it was attached to Evans's name was 28 Mar 2002. It does sound like the November column a little -- but what often happens with these things is that they get attached to another person, much as the Mary Schmich "Wear sunscreen" column got passed around the net as a Kurt Vonnegut commencement address. (For example, the second Gooja cite already has someone saying it was Ted Nugent writing as Tammy Hall!) One interesting marker is that the early versions attributed to Hall all use the misspelling "Shindler's List".

It may be that Hall, Nugent, and Evans are all simply "vectors" (as those who pass on urban legends are termed), who posted it to mailing lists. The next person to see it may only see the sender's name, and constructions like "Ted Nugent sent this to the sexgunsrandr-l" can quickly become direct attributions.

y2karl: An old saying of the urban legend folk is that "just because it's an urban legend doesn't mean it didn't happen".

mcsweetie: Marines like Evans are good old fashioned "cons". Neocons are, technically, former liberals.

pejamo: How exactly do you intend to "counter" opinion? Planning a road trip to every bar in America?
posted by dhartung at 9:49 PM on September 18, 2002


Cowards run away from fights to save their lives, they don't fly themselves into buildings to make a point.

I would say that killing unarmed civilians who don't even know they're about to be attacked is pretty cowardly. It's the equivalent of sneaking up on someone and stabbing them in the back before they even realize you're there.
posted by kindall at 10:44 PM on September 18, 2002


Side note--: RevGreg writes: All I'd like to tell this idiot is that if you're going to stand up for our Constitutional rights, stand up for all of them as written or don't bother. Once you start debating the meaning beyond the face value you might as well scrap the whole document.

Have you discussed this idea with the Supreme Court? For some reason, dating back a couple hundred years, they seem to think it's their job to debate the meaning beyond the face value of the Constitution. Silly Justices!

Not that I agree with MGySgt. Evans, USMC (Ret.), but let's chose our words carefully in discussing what is and is not absurd about his missive.
posted by jewishbuddha at 11:04 PM on September 18, 2002


Goodness me - the potential to take poor Ed's rant to pieces is endless, but as a non-American it's probably really none of my business. It does, however, illustrate nicely the one thing about America that worries non-Americans the most:

the sneaking suspicion that the worldview of many [possibly armed] Americans, including politicians, has been shaped by watching dodgy news channels and, er, too many Stephen Spielberg (not always a bad thing) and Jerry Bruckheimer (always a bad thing) films. Or maybe that should be the other way around??? Whatever, this guy is the embodiment of this perception.

Anyway, other than that, you lot are great!!! :o)

PS: As skallas said earlier, what's this weird obsession with marines that I seem to constantly detect in the US media and from the fact that my American friends instinctively mutter "Hooo-ah" (or something that sounds like that) every time the USMC appears on TV???? It's gas! I've always wondered about that.....
posted by Doozer at 1:34 AM on September 19, 2002


So the media is liberal.. so what!
posted by ZupanGOD at 2:05 AM on September 19, 2002


"I may not agree with what you say, but to your death I will defend your right to say it." Voltaire
posted by johnnyboy at 2:07 AM on September 19, 2002


It's LABOUR party. *tchoh*
posted by Summer at 3:01 AM on September 19, 2002


*hours later, I notice the typo:

let's chose our words carefully

oh, the irony.
posted by jewishbuddha at 5:36 AM on September 19, 2002


Liberal, contrary to what the Ditto Heads think say, is a good thing! Only one definition has "bad" connotations. Be proud to be a liberal!! BTW, liberal is also a meta tag so use with care in HTML format. :)

Main Entry: 1lib?er?al
Pronunciation: 'li-b(&-)r&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lEodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free
Date: 14th century
1 a : of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts [liberal education] b archaic : of or befitting a man of free birth
2 a : marked by generosity : OPENHANDED [a liberal giver] b : given or provided in a generous and openhanded way [a liberal meal] c : AMPLE, FULL
3 obsolete : lacking moral restraint : LICENTIOUS
4 : not literal or strict : LOOSE [a liberal translation]
5 : BROAD-MINDED; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms
6 a : of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism b capitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives
posted by nofundy at 9:09 AM on September 19, 2002


y2karl: An old saying of the urban legend folk is that "just because it's an urban legend doesn't mean it didn't happen".

That was your response to the links to which I pointed?
Weak, dhartung, weak. I am surprised at you.

For the record again:

Sociologist Jerry Lembcke had finished his research into reports that antiwar protesters spat at Vietnam veterans and concluded that those reports were myths, when a workman at his house and then one of his students told him they knew veterans who had been spat at.

But both stories collapsed, just like all the others he had tracked down, Lembcke said. "An unending series of pop-up targets,'' he called them.

Lembcke, 55, is an associate professor of sociology at the College of the Holy Cross and himself a Vietnam veteran, who was drafted after the 1968 Tet offensive and served 13 months in Vietnam.

He was in the final stages of writing ''The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory and the Legacy of Vietnam''when he heard the two close-to-home accounts.

When he told the workman at his house what he was writing, Lembcke said, the worker said it "had happened to a lot of us.'' Not to him, "but to guys I knew.'' Not in Worcester, though, "but mostly in Boston.''

''In the space of a minute,''' Lembcke said, ''the story goes from not 'me' to someone else, and from 'not here' to somewhere else.''

His student told Lembcke he should talk to his roommate "because his dad had been spat at.'" But it turned out it wasn't the roommate's father, but his uncle - and then not him, either, but someone he had heard about.

"It's hard to prove something didn't happen,'' Lembcke said. But after extensive research, "I'm confident these things didn't happen.'"


&

I cannot, of course, prove to anyone's satisfaction that spitting incidents like these did not happen. Indeed, it seems likely to me that it probably did happen to some veteran, some time, some place. But while I cannot prove the negative, I can prove the positive: I can show what did happen during those years and that that historical record makes it highly unlikely that the alleged acts of spitting occurred in the number and manner that is now widely believed...

The spitting image is a myth, however, not because the alleged acts of spitting did not happen, but because of the way the image functions in the society. The spitting image, I contend, helps to tell a story that is not true, namely, that the United States lost the war in Vietnam because of betrayal on the home front. In other words, the spitting image helps construct an alibi for why the war was lost. The alibi runs that we were not beaten by a small, underdeveloped, nation of Asians but rather by liberals in congress who "tied one hand behind our backs" and by radicals in the streets whose actions demoralized our troops and gave aid and comfort to the enemy. It is an alibi that helps preserve key elements of American national and racial superiority: we were not defeated by Asian "others" but by our own kind. In effect, the alibi allows those who wish to believe that we were defeated by the only power on earth capable of beating the United States: the United States itself.

posted by y2karl at 9:18 AM on September 19, 2002 [1 favorite]


I would say that killing unarmed civilians who don't even know they're about to be attacked is pretty cowardly. It's the equivalent of sneaking up on someone and stabbing them in the back before they even realize you're there.

It's equivalent if you assuming the sneaking individual then takes his/her own life as well. Such an assault is an insideous and evil act, but not particularly cowardly.
posted by moonbiter at 12:10 PM on September 19, 2002


It's the equivalent of sneaking up on someone and stabbing them in the back before they even realize you're there.

or lobbing missiles at them from 2000 miles away?
posted by tolkhan at 1:55 PM on September 19, 2002


is anyone else getting a little nervous about this war-on-liberals the neocons are waging?

...as opposed to the war-on-conservatives that the neolibs are waging? When did this become a "new" thing?
posted by RevGreg at 2:31 PM on September 19, 2002


I would think that such a "BROAD-MINDED" group wouldnt have so much trouble listeing to non-liberal views and admitting that they dont know everything.
posted by Recockulous at 4:07 PM on September 19, 2002


y2karl, get your hackles down, boy. I wasn't hijacking a thread into a full-scale debate of the spitting myth, which you seem to take rather personally; I was stating a known truism, of sorts, from the community of urban-legendeers. And your quotes simply seem to validate my "weak" response. I fully understand the narrative analysis of the second quote, in particular, because this is exactly the type of analysis put forth by experts in the field of modern myth.
posted by dhartung at 11:34 PM on September 19, 2002


nofundy: The liberal tag today carries allot of socialist weight. I'm a non-socialist liberal.
posted by ZupanGOD at 12:56 AM on September 20, 2002


I will not forget the moral victory handed the North Vietnamese by American war protesters who reviled and spat upon the returning soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.

Ah, I think technically, Big Ed, that they probably just occasionally yelled out "Zippo Marine" and maybe "babykiller".

From what I know, I'd say they had a point.

y2karl, get your hackles down, boy. I wasn't hijacking a thread into a full-scale debate of the spitting myth, which you seem to take rather personally; I was stating a known truism, of sorts, from the community of urban-legendeers. And your quotes simply seem to validate my "weak" response. I fully understand the narrative analysis of the second quote, in particular, because this is exactly the type of analysis put forth by experts in the field of modern myth.

I think, based on analysis put forth by experts in the field of modern dhartungSpeak, that a succinct translation of the above is "I didn't know what I was talking about on the issue, so now I'll obfuscate with verbiage".
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:22 AM on September 20, 2002


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